I am a Social Justice Campaigner and Advocate, delivering freelance training and consultancy, covering debate facilitation, public speaking, and campaigning. I have a wealth of experience and knowledge gained over 20 years of working in the public sector in a variety of different roles.
Background and upbringing
I was born in Hebden Bridge and live locally with my young son. I was raised by single parents on benefits through the Thatcher years, embedding the seeds of socialism in my characteristics from a very young age. By the time I was seven, we were protesting on anti-poll-tax marches and demonstrations against the Gulf War.
During my teens I was involved in local youth provision which helped to shape my future career and opportunities. At home our circumstances were often tumultuous; my disabled brother developed Schizophrenia and home life was chaotic for many years, and I battled with anxiety and the results of a community that had lost its way.
I began my career as a Youth Worker in 2000 as a trainee on a Gap Scheme, working at the local youth provision that had played an integral part in me moving away from the wrong path in life to the right one. In 2006 I graduated with a BA Hons Degree in Youth and Community Work and went on to work in the drug and alcohol field before working as a Senior Practitioner within the NHS Child Psychology Services in parent/child bonding and attachment therapy.
In 2014 I resigned from the NHS and as a single parent with a toddler I struggled on benefits whilst volunteering for Citizens Advice doing anti-poverty work. I rapidly progressed to Caseworker, providing advice and representation on a wide range of Welfare Rights issues, a role which I have continued with.
I am heavily involved in local social justice work and anti-poverty campaigning through my career and through the Reach4ward charity which I founded in 2018.
Public Law Experience
For a number of years I supported a vulnerable young person through fostering provision under the care of the local authority. I represented her in independent panel hearings as part of a far-reaching investigation into the practice of two local authorities who had failed in their duty of care towards her.
During this time, I decided I wanted to study law, to help people understand and access their fundamental rights and to challenge the injustices faced by people who are deprived of opportunities in life.
After completing A Level Law as a mature student and qualifying as a Paralegal, I progressed to the CILEx Level 6 Higher Professional Diploma in Law and Practice, which I am currently completing. I hold Level 6 certificates in Immigration Law; Client Care; and Legal Research.
Through personal and professional development I have become an experienced rights-based advice worker, advising people in poverty through First –Tier Tribunal processes and bringing cases against the Government using Public Law remedies.
These experiences taught me to fully realise and appreciate the inequalities in our society, where people are poorly treated because of their gender; ethnicity; religion; culture; physical ability; class; sexual orientation; or background, and recognising our duty to intervene and empower people to know their rights and challenge the systems that oppress.
I have founded a number of projects and campaigns in recent years, using my skills, experience, and passion to effect change at the highest level.
The inception of the incredible Northern Resist - the campaign for better transport in the North - commenced in 2017 and has become a valuable and well-respected model for change, by holding big business to account through the platform of social media.
Reach4ward is a non-profit community interest company - founded in 2018 - on the principles of achieving social justice. We provide local events to tackle isolation and loneliness and promote inclusion from the core of our work.
I believe I have been privileged with an education and opportunities in life and from that I have a duty to share my knowledge and empower others to strive for something better.
Thanks for reading.
I first became aware of Kate through Northern Resist - the campaign that grew into a national phenomenon via social media and people powered activism. Kate is an incredibly passionate campaigner for social justice. After working with her on projects I have seen first hand how deeply she cares for communities and individuals who desperately need someone like her fighting for them.
The work Kate does through REACH4WARD, Northern Resist and as an individual all have some common threads – fairness, equality and community.
I've been privileged to work with Kate on the Community Christmas Get Together in the Upper Valley, which brought together 150 people who otherwise would have spent Christmas alone. I have seen first-hand how her warmth, drive and generosity of spirit can bring together volunteers to create well attended and vital events for all, regardless of social background.
Kate has become a good friend who I greatly admire – the way she connects and inspires people comes naturally to her. With Kate on your side anything is possible.
Cllr Scott Patient - Luddenden Foot
I first met Kate over five years ago when she was assigned as my support worker in the NHS. I was pregnant and suffering from severe anxiety and OCD. Kate went above and beyond her role to get me through one of the darkest periods in my life. I can honestly say that her unwavering compassion, kind heart and nonjudgmental support gave me the strength to become the mother that my daughter needed. Kate is the reason that I’ve been able to heal and get the therapy that I was too frightened to seek. Without her strength and encouragement, I would never have been able to reach the light at the end of the tunnel. I could never not have her in my life and I’m so glad that we’ve become close friends as a result of her honest, caring and considerate nature.
Kat Cole - Client
I have attended the PIP training which Kate delivers and learned a substantial amount from the content and listening to Kate's practical experiences. As a result of this I have set up my own disability rights sessions for Neurodiversity claimants.
I have also met with Kate on numerous occasions and she has helped me and others immensely with her advice and support. I see what Kate does locally, campaigning and advocating for social justice, and greatly admire her work.